Woman found dead on Bishop Ford Freeway; man questioned

Jennifer Mitchell

February 13, 2013 5:52:50 AM PST
Investigators are trying to determine how a woman fell from an SUV traveling on the Bishop Ford Freeway Tuesday and died.

The woman -- identified as 27-year-old Jennifer Mitchell -- was found dead in outbound lanes near 152nd Street.

It was unclear how she ended up on the pavement. Illinois State Police said witnesses told them the woman fell out of the white SUV.

At approximately 12:45 a.m., a state trooper spotted Mitchell's body on the freeway. She had been run over by a semi-truck and possibly another car, authorities said.

The driver of the SUV Mitchell was riding in fled police and later crashed near south suburban Alsip, Ill. He was arrested and was being questioned by Blue Island police after being treated and released from Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Authorities said he was being uncooperative.

Mitchell was a resident of the 9200-block of South Paxton Avenue on Chicago's Southeast Side.

"She was such a wonderful young lady, and she would just come down and visit me, and I would have coffee with her and her sister," neighbor Frankie Cornelius said.

"I talk to her father all the time. It's really heart-wrenching. Her father is a minister. It's a really close family. You see them a lot," said neighbor Jessica Acklin.

Police say tips from witnesses helped them catch up with the SUV driver, a 28-year-old man. When they tried to pull him over, he crashed at 127th Street and Cicero Avenue.

That driver had not been charged later Tuesday.

Neighbors say the white SUV being driven by the man belonged to Mitchell.

Mitchell's best friend did not want to talk on camera but told ABC7 Chicago that Mitchell lived with her parents, who are are ministers of Greater Deliverance Church on West 51st Street. She was attending Chicago State University to become a nurse.

"Last month, her and her father and her mother were there. She just hugged me and kissed me. She was such a wonderful young girl," said Cornelius.

In the hours after the incident, crews shut down all lanes on the outbound Ford between Sibley and 159th Street as they investigated the scene. The lanes reopened at approximately 6 a.m.